Governors of five US states are asking the federal government for $1 trillion in aid for education, welfare and infrastructure. One of these states is New York, and I can see what is meant by ''infrastructure'' since I spend a bit of time driving through New York terrified that a chunk of crumbling overpass is going to fall on my car.
However, allow me to sputter- $1 trillion?! Holy sexy Moses! Do you have any idea how much money that is? Supporters of the aid- or 'loyal Democrats'- are going to say that it's only about 3.5 percent of the economy; after World War II, the government ran up a debt that went over 50 percent and, if I'm not mistaken, might have been more than the entire economy at a few points, with the result that the 50s weren't bad. And yet, the federal debt was nothing remotely close to $10.6 trillion at that time.
So it's pretty ballsy to ask for this money when the federal debt is already $10.6 trillion- higher than it's ever been before [thanks, by the way, to Bush spending like a drunken sailor, and ''conservatives'' and ''libertarians'' deciding they're just fine with that so long as it's a Republican robbing the till]- and the recession is expected to contract the economy by, you guessed it, about $3 trillion next year alone. How does this sort of make-believe economics make sense to anyone? President Obama is expected to support this kind of spending- basically spending a ton of money now in hopes that we'll make enough money in a brighter future to pay it back- should we call this ''hope-based'' economics?
I loved this explanation from Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey: In light of the $700 billion provided to bail out the financial industry, "It's not shockingly large," he said.
So at what point do we just run out of money to borrow? And what happens then?